What is the difference between ok singing, good singing and great singing?
The answer is subjective and up for debate but there is little doubt that there a a handful of singers who wow us every time they sing. Whether you’re a singer or a fan, listening to a great singer can be a truly inspiring and moving experience.
Want to know how you can develop your vocal skills and build show-stopping talent?
Singing is not only talent, it’s a skill. A skill is something that you can learn - and that means you don’t have to be born with it to become great at it. While it’s true that some people are natural singers, it’s also true that people with no natural talent for singing can become great singers with training and practice.
I have trained everyone from naturally talented singers to people who think they’re tone deaf and couldn’t pitch a ball. I’ve even trained deaf singes with no prior experience to sing to audiences at sell-out shows.
Furthermore, understanding what it takes to go from being a good singer to a great singer will help you to build the skills to stand out from the crowd.
Singers like Beyoncé, Ariana Grande Aretha Franklin and Freddie Mercury haven’t just practiced mindlessly for hours, they work on specific areas of their voices and know their own voices intimately so that they can create magic. It’s what makes them artist rather than just singers.
And it’s worth remembering that they all started at the beginning, just like everyone else.
So what is it that makes the difference when it comes to being a great singer?
There are a number of factors that differentiate good singers from great singers and while we don’t all want to become great singers and perform on massive stages, for those of you who do, here’s my quick guide to going from being a good singer to bcoming a GREAT singer…
1. A good singer can hit the notes in the right places…
A GREAT singer uses proper singing techniques and adds emotion and takes the audience on a journey.
2. A Good singer uses runs, riffs and melisma…
A GREAT singer uses runs, riffs and melisma sparingly to create magic.
3. A good singer belts their heart out whenever they can…
A GREAT singer reserves belting until the right time and hits the sweet spot.
Watch this video to improve your vocal skills and discover how to develop a strong belt:
4. A good singer uses breath control to sing long notes…
A GREAT singer uses breath control to create punctuation and interest.
5. A good singer has natural vibrato.
A GREAT singer can control their vibrato and use it on demand, to add colour and texture.
If you’re just starting out it’s important to build the foundations before you leap into advanced singing techniques such as vibrato, belting or adding vocal effects.
If you think you’re “tone deaf” and find it difficult to pitch, start by practising your listening skills. Really HEAR the melody of a song before you singing it. Where does the tune go up and down? Are the high notes actually high, or are they just louder? Where does the singer breathe? That’s a good indication of where you should probably breathe, too.
Is it a bright sounding song or is it more sombre. When you consider these factors before you even start to sing a song you’re already in a better starting position than most other people.
If you’re a musician who wants to improve your pitching, it’s likely that you’re so used to using your speaking voice that venturing into different areas of your voice feels uncomfortable. Play around with your voice - where are the squeaky sounds? Have fun with them and really FEEL where those sounds are made. Do you want to sing louder? Avoid shouting or trying to raise the volume of your voice. It may surprise you to learn that voice projection NEVER happens in your throat. Feel where your voice resonates in your body and aim for either your head or your chest to create different sounds.
Want to learn even more? Jump into my video series 7 Awesome Vocal Exercises That Will Transform Your Singing for free singing tutorials.